Polls are a somewhat unknown feature of Instagram Stories. Many people gravitate to stickers, locations and hashtags, but polls are an untapped resource. Learn how polls can move products and increase revenue for an ecommerce brand.

At this point, a lot has been written about Instagram Stories from an organic perspective. Stories launched in 2016 and have grown to over 500 million daily users. To put that into perspective, Instagram has 1 billion people on the platform overall. That’s a lot of people with a lot of stories! The success of Stories can not be denied, so much so that Facebook is adding Stories to both Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Maybe even Whatsapp will get its own Stories product at some point.

68% of people become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story.

Stories Content

What I love about Stories is that you can take more risks and try out things you may not want around forever. I love and use Stories with friends on our agency IG account.

Besides photos and videos, stories give you a variety of options to create content:

  • Type: Text-based posts in a variety of styles against a colored background.
  • Live: In-the-moment live streams where your audience can comment in real-time. You can post them as a Story afterwards.
  • Boomerang: Create a 1-second looping videos.
  • Focus: Take portraits that blur out the background and keep your subject’s face in focus.
  • Superzoom: Dramatically zoom in on your subject from afar, using a variety of a humorous effects like Paparazzi or Surprise.
  • Rewind: Record a video that will play back in reverse.
  • Hands-free: Record a video without having to hold down the record button.

With all these options you can get creative and add stickers, hashtags, emojis, question stickers, countdown stickers, chat stickers and, the reason for this discussion, polls. Polls are definitly the least unused feature among my friends and even the Instagram ads I see in my feed.

I see a lot of people and brands use stickers and overlay text because they are quick and easy to add. Polls take a bit more effort because you have to plan it out and make sure your image and poll match up. However, the effort is worth it.

How to add Polls to your Instagram Stories Ad

The first time I tried to figure out how to use polls on my ads, I had to take a minute to find the feature. It’s definitely not something that jumps out at you if you use Facebook’s ad manager every day. In Fact, you are likely to just gloss over it because it’s hidden in plain sight.

I’m going to give you some great material to work with as we have been running polls on our stories since last year for Canadian and USA clients. First, this is how you setup polls:

  1. Setup your campaign as normal in Facebook’s ad manager
  2. The “Instagram Stories” box has to be ticked under Placements at ad set level. In fact, you can not have the Facebook Stories or Messenger Stories box ticketed for the poll option to come up. Sounds nutty right… I know.
  3. Let me say it again, having anything else ticketed but “Instagram Stories” won’t work
  4. When you ad set is setup how you like head down to ad creation
  5. Under Call To Action, there should be a box you can tick for polls. Tick that box! 
  6. You should see an option, like the image below, magically appear
  7. Create your poll to your heart’s content. Some key bits to keep in mind

Poll Question: max is 100 characters with spacing. We found shorter, easy to answer questions are better. Keep it light hearted and fun. Show off your brand’s tone and point of view.

Poll Option 1 & 2: both are a max of 24 characters with spacing. Again, keep it simple

Sticker Width: Choose a value between 0 and 100 to adjust the size of your poll sticker. I generally don’t use this or the rotation option below.

Sticker Rotation: Choose a value between -90 and 90 to adjust the angle of your poll sticker.

Horizontal Position: Choose a value between 0 and 100 to adjust the horizontal position of your poll sticker.

Vertical Position: Choose a value between 0 and 100 to adjust the vertical position of your poll sticker.

I find I use the horizontal and vertical options a lot if I max out on the 24 characters for the poll options. I’m usually adjusting to make sure I don’t cover up a face or the product in polls.

I also don’t want to use the vertical positioning to drop too far down on an image because you run the risk of covering up your call to action (CTA) that you want people to click. This is how you drive revenue.

Branded Content: If this post features a third-party brand or product then you must tag your business partner’s page. If you need to see and review the branded content policy, click here. When you tag a business partner’s page they’ll be notified. The business partner will be able to view this post’s metrics and use it to create an ad. Learn More abut this, here. This is an immensely powerful feature if you do a lot of collaborations.

Now that you know how to add a poll to your IG Stories ad, you need to know what questions to ask. Not all questions are created equal, and despite the popular saying, some are, in fact, stupid. The right question and image combo can assist in driving engagement but also revenue.

What Questions To Ask For Instagram Story Polls

This will vary by brand and how you communicate with your customers and followers of your Instagram profile and Facebook page. Keep it simple is the number one rule we follow at the agency. Aside from this, though, there are 2 other rules we follow when writing out questions.

The rules in question:

  1. Keep it simple (of course)
  2. Short and sweet – ease of readability is key. Don’t add in extra words you don’t need. People are looking at this on mobile. Don’t make them think too much.
  3. Think about what someone would say to themselves if they saw that picture
    1. Question: Would my did wear this all day?
    2. Poll Option 1 & 2: Yes & 200% Yes

Similar to what I say about images below, test out questions and answers and stay on brand.

What Images To Use On Your Polls

I won’t pretend to have this 100% figured out as all the brands we work on are different. What works for our toy client won’t always work for our clients that sell bamboo PJs, women’s shoes, and children’s clothing.

Don’t be afraid to test different images with the same question. You would be shocked how that simple change can double your ROAS. We find cropped product images (for clothes) don’t work well but flat lay images do phenomenal for our clients. 

Anything with kids wearing clothes does well. Even within kids wearing the clothes, different pictures resonate with different parents. We have something running right now where a curly haired child sitting is doing better than the other child in a running position. Both wearing the same product and beyond the colour difference… everything else is the same. Test and continue to test.

Even test single images or gifs/video. We prefer single images because it includes more people in the experience. With gifs and video, not everyone will be able to process the moving images if they move too fast.

I find myself sometimes rewatching an IG Story if it was too fast or caught me off guard. Something to keep in mind is accessibility. Addionally, it’s hard to pick a product or answer a poll if the product zipped by you too quickly.

Who To Target With Your IG Poll

We have found targeting your Facebook page and Instagram profile works really well as a way to increase revenue. We always make each one an ad set for your brand page and one for IG profile. They always perform differently and it’s good to adjust your budgets when you see one having a better return on ad spend (ROAS).

You can also look at targeting some of your best performing audiences from your other Facebook campaigns. You can even test broad targeting or retarget people who have been to your site and have not purchased.

There is no limit to who you can target. You should always be testing and learning as you run more polls.

Some helpful links as you go down your own Instagram Stories journey with polls:

Next time you run a campaign or launch a new product, test Polls for Instagram Stories. They are the new toy of direct response marketers. Just keep testing your ad copy, images and who you target and you can use it to increase revenue for your ecommerce business.

That is it for this week. See you next time.